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Vent Formation
2 Vent Formation

Hydrothermal Vents can be found on the seafloor in areas with volcanic activity. Cracks in the ocean floor allow cold water to seep below the earth’s crust, where it is heated up to 400 ° C (756 ° F). The hot water absorbs chemicals from the molten rock below. When the hot fluid meets the oxygen rich cold seawater, chemical reactions take place, depositing metals and minerals to form the strange chimney like structures. A vent named ‘Godzilla’ reached 9 meters (30 feet).

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1. Hydrothermal Vent 2. Vent Formation 3. Human Occupied Submersible 4. Anemone 5. Zoarcid Fish 6. Tubeworms 7. Crabs 8. Clams & Mussels 9. Pompeii Worm
Sea Vent Viewer
Explore the illustration or click on a number to learn more about a particular part of the process.

Credit: Nicolle Rager, National Science Foundation